Peter Garrett wrote:
> I've just spent some time reading through recent threads, and decided
> to throw in some thoughts about the ubuntu-users list over the last few
> Just to forestall the inevitable: yes, I know about sounder ;-)
> Some people with long memories might recall that I used to answer quite
> a few questions here, once upon a time. ;-) Lately other projects and
> concerns have meant that I have not contributed much.
> This post will probably be seen as off-topic by some... So be it.
> I think that we are seeing the usual evolution of a list as the project
> becomes ever more popular. In 2004-6 (roughly), this list really was
> mostly about technical help and discussion, and I think the
> "demographic" was *similar* to that on, say, a Debian list. As Ubuntu
> has become more and more popular, we have seen an influx of people who
> don't come from the "traditional" Linuxish/*nixish backgrounds. The
> kinds of questions have changed, and the level of discussion has perhaps
> dropped in quality somewhat.
> That's a nice way of saying that the signal-to-noise ratio has
> deteriorated ;-)
I agree with you here. I normally use Debian and their user mailing list
is the most on topic, intelligent and civil that I have ever come across
(specially compared to the *unix newsgroups, where all non-gurus are
considered lowly mortals by the snobs). This list also used to be
similar to the Debian user list, but was more, how shall I say this,
vagueish, which is understandably. The users here were not from the
level of technical background familiar to the Debian list users. This
was all okay.
But now, unfortunately, the list has started moving from that vagueish
but still highly useful and technical value (due to the valuable
contributors) towards what a typical Windows XP newsgroup is like. There
all one finds are the vague, cliche and useless responses from the so
called MSVPs for the most part. I usually say that MS newsgroups have
very high entropy; no one knows what is going on there, no one pays any
attention to the real problem at hand and no one really cares about the
users if one encounters a non-common problem. Most of the Microsoft
users newsgroups are filled with messages from MS minions that everyone
should stop pirating Windows and should get a real license.
I very much hope that we do not reach that state of responses here (no,
not the ones regarding the licenses, but the ones to do with technical
But I also understand that as Ubuntu gets popular, it is inevitable that
the technical language and focus here takes a slight hit. For now, I am
fairly confident that we won't be competing with MS newsgroups for chaos
Finally, I also believe that being a bit politer goes a long way in not
offending new users, since they are the ones who are not familiar with
the ways of mailing lists and newsgroups. Friendly corrections work wonders.
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